emergency weblog; or: epersonae; or: elaine nelson

in which I write about stuff

best of track: conversion to web standards

Categories: conference notes, General, hewd 2004

Daniel from UWisconsin Platt
http://www.uwplatt.edu/web/webstandards

talk about changes in methodology, along with concepts, reasons to make the switch.

zen thing: is standards, aren’t standards.
if you think of the W3C as the UN… if the countries in the UN don’t want to play well, they don’t. but the UN at least has an army; maybe the W3C should?

XHTML, CSS, DOM, ECMAScript 262 (he keeps pronouncing ECMA as a word rather than an acronym, makes me crazy)

“HTML is dead.” (okay, whatever.) if there’s no HTML, then what the heck is XHTML? (digression: SVG got merged into XML) huge freaking quote on what XHTML is.

how to convert to XHTML: doctype, lower case, quoted attributes, end tags everywhere, proper nesting, validation. “validate first before you ask me a question; it’ll save us both a lot of time.”

benefits? accessibility (at least more so), eliminate silly mistakes — works well in old browsers, because it’s tight (my word) no guessing needed.

XHTML is our future, moving from HTML to XML. now he’s tripping; XHTML 1.0 transitional/strict is doable I think for most people, but 1.1?! and talking about 2.0, you might as well be smoking crack.

q: why transitional? I don’t know about his answer.

HTML structure. most corporate is going to use table design (except not so much anymore): nice layout, predictable. hard to find stuff (although his example is faulty, I think, because it’s the kind of thing that would likely be drawn from a db). don’t do it.

div is alternative to table. huh? this sounds like the road to divitis. separation of structure from layout/presentation. divs as the skeleton.

*now* he says don’t overuse, talks about divs for major sections.

browsers: as long as we point back to W3C, we should be prepared. rant vis a vis WYSIWIG editors, the “hi mom” effect: HTML generated in word, which makes Baby Jeebus cry.

then CSS “skinning concept” like face plates for a cell phone. “we just swap out the CSS” — well, in the best of all possible worlds. 1st css design is painful, but then redesigns are easier, faster.

ah, the zen garden; he mentions Dave & Molly’s book.

suggests using lots of stylesheets: base, @import, layout “separate from skin” (huh?), print.

print view of Slashdot. didn’t the user just want the content? I wonder about print stylesheets: they’re a sweet idea, but do “average” users understand the idea?

“information superhighway” not “design superhighway” (photo of Al G) info should come first, design isn’t important. hrm.

backward/forward compatible. ready for the future!

he very briefly alludes to the slashdot makeover. (in ALA?)

bandwidth savings.

oh, hey, he’s the guy who *wrote* the article about redoing Slashdot with web standards. he’s talking about that now, but then again, I read that article when it first came out. talks benefits: not originally impressed with bandwidth savings 2-9 K…but it adds up. 14GB daily.

personal bandwidth story. freakout by server people because of drop in load with CSS implementation. y’know, we’ve done this so gradually, and without ever really having done a big-ass table design, that I can never show those kinds of numbers. sigh.

a journey not a destination, not a quick fix, but lots of benefits.

tells how he ended up writing the story for ALA. “I thought you were kidding.” and getting slashdotted. 🙂

recommends Meyer’s definitive guide to CSS, talks about speaking with Eric. more books, Zeldman, More EM on CSS.

he has 12 minutes, so he’s going to…demo the FIR technique. I mentioned the negative margin technique. (Dave Shea has a whole page full of techniques.)

demo also of a student project, another rework, playing with firefox web dev extension. (which rocks my world)

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2 Responses to “best of track: conversion to web standards”

  1. I suspect that by “skin” he means “color scheme.” It’s perfectly possible (easy, in fact) to keep your CSS layout in one sheet and do all kinds of color schemes in different sheets.

  2. Elaine says:

    Yeah, I’d guess that, but he didn’t say.

    Maybe it’s vain of me, but I’m starting to think that I could give these kinds of presentation myself. 🙂